Despite Downturn, Hispanics Still Buying Big-Ticket Items

ipod touch, samsung hdtv and digital canonHispanic adults in the United States are more likely to spend money on electronic gadgets like Apple iPods, Samsung HDTV and Canon digital cameras than their non-Hispanic counterparts, even during a down economy, according to a recent study from Vertis Communications, Baltimore.

The Customer Focus Opiniones study released this month reveals that 28% of Hispanics will purchase a large-screen or HDTV within the next 12 months, compared with 23% of non-Hispanics. The study also indicates that 22% of Hispanics are more likely to invest in a new laptop or a notebook computer within the next year, compared with only 18% of non-Hispanics.

Twenty-one percent of Hispanics participating in the survey intend to purchase a video gaming system such as Microsoft's Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii or Sony's PlayStation 3; and 19% an MP3 player, compared with 12% of non-Hispanics for both categories. Digital cameras also are in demand, with 21% planning purchases, compared with 18% of non-Hispanics.



The faltering U.S. economy appears to have little impact on purchasing decisions made by Hispanics, according to Scott Marden, director of marketing research for Vertis Communications. Many of the 500 Hispanic adults participating in the phone survey during August and September 2007 say they will likely purchase technology this year.

"I'm seeing more [say they will] buy cars and furniture, too," Marden says. "Marketers with a multicultural campaign should include text messaging, and Internet and direct mail, not just put all the dollars in TV because it won't reach a variety of Hispanics."

While Spanish-speaking adults are influenced mostly by television, English-speaking adults have become heavy Internet and technology users. Marden says Hispanic consumers tend to respond well to direct mail. They like the benefits from loyalty cards and rebate coupons.

Similar to other demographics, the study suggests that multichannel marketing campaigns have become increasingly effective. Twenty-three percent of Hispanics view television advertising as the medium that most influences buying decisions, compared with 20% for advertising inserts and circulars, followed by Internet marketing at 13%.

Internet ads may not influence the purchase, but they do drive consumers to the brand. Twenty-one percent of Hispanics ages 50 and older looked at Internet ads during the previous seven days prior to participating in the survey, compared with 15% of non-Hispanics the same age. More than 40% research products online, compared with 38% of non-Hispanics.

"Although they are slightly older, Hispanics have become familiar with technology and the Internet because many live in homes with multiple generations and learn from those younger," Marden says. "Many non-Hispanic 50-year-olds are experiencing an empty nest, whereas Hispanic adults are less likely."

In general, 62% of Hispanics and 59% of non-Hispanics say they rely on information found on the Internet to research electronic products before making purchases. Clothing follows as the second-most-researched purchase among Hispanics, with 38% of all Hispanics with Internet access saying they research clothes online before buying them. Groceries are the least-likely product researched before making a purchase. A mere 8% admit they conduct online research before going to the grocery store.

Next story loading loading..